Career Development

How to List Writing Skills on a Resume: Best Skills and Examples

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Writing skills are valuable to have in any position within almost every industry. Examples of writing skills can include basic writing skills, professional and business writing, creative writing, content writing and editing. Learn about the top writing skills and how to effectively present them in your resume.

What are writing skills?

Writing skills are required in many different aspects of our lives. They allow you to communicate with friends, family, customers and colleagues in a clear manner. They can be used to write effective and professional emails, create presentations or develop content for marketing, websites, blogs and social media. Good writing skills can also be advantageous to have when creating resumes or writing cover letters.

Why do employers want to see writing skills in a resume?

Writing is a form of communication that is used everywhere, whether in business or in your personal life. In business, the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in writing is essential. Employees often need to communicate with clients, coworkers and supervisors through letters, emails and memos, so employers are looking for candidates with strong writing skills.

Best writing skills to add to a resume

Here are some of the best writing skills to include on a resume:

Basic writing skills

No matter the nature or type of business, most employers want to hire candidates that have at least basic writing skills such as spelling, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. 

Professional and business writing

If you’re applying for a job in which you’ll be communicating with clients, colleagues and management, then you’ll need to list professional and business writing skills such as your ability to write professional emails and letters and use Microsoft Office. Other professional writing skills include taking notes and memos, which may be useful during meetings, conducting research and analyzing information to be converted into written communication.

Report writing

In a corporate position, you may be required to write and prepare multiple reports. Include report writing skills such as your ability to research, analyze and summarize information and data.

Copywriting and content writing

When applying to copywriting or content writing positions for a marketing department or agency, you should include copywriting and content writing skills such as blog and web content writing, research, proofreading and editing. If you have any experience with SEO, sales/marketing writing or writing for social media, this would be good to include in your resume as well.

Presentation writing

Some positions may require you to create and develop presentations for meetings and other events. Include presentation skills such as PowerPoint or other presentation software you are experienced with. You may also want to include your ability to be creative, concise and persuasive.

Editing

Editing and proofreading are important steps in the writing process, so you should include these skills as well. Examples of editing skills include copy editing, fact-checking and making revisions. 

How to list writing skills in a resume

You can use the following steps to list writing skills on your resume:

 
1. First, make a list of your writing skills

Start by making a draft list that includes all of your writing skills. Then, narrow down this list to include only the skills that you have the most proficiency in. 

2. Second, position your best skills first

List your best writing skills, including those in which you are most experienced, first. This will help the hiring manager prioritize your skills and competencies accordingly.

3. Third, list the job-specific skills

It is critical to focus on the skills relevant to the job posting. For example, if you are applying for a job as a business analyst, you may want to highlight your report and article writing skills first. However, if your application is for a website content writing agency, it may be beneficial to mention your SEO writing skills first. 

4. Fourth, avoid listing too many skills

Your resume should provide a quick glimpse of your best skills, therefore it should only list the most relevant and important ones. Include four to five writing skills that are relevant to the specific position you are applying to rather than an exhaustive list of all your writing skills to make it easier for the hiring manager to see which skills are most applicable to the job listing. 

5. Fifth, prove your skills with achievements

Listing your writing achievements on a resume is a great way to demonstrate your skills and capture the attention of a hiring manager. Many candidates only list their work history and duties, but including your achievements will show a hiring manager how well you did your job. One way to do this is by including specific numbers. For example, you can describe how many articles you wrote in a given amount of time or how much traffic an article you wrote received.

6. Finally, proofread your resume

Your resume itself is an example of your writing skills and abilities, so it should be free of grammatical errors and typos. Before sending your resume to a hiring manager, make sure you read it thoroughly and proofread it for accuracy. You may also want to have someone else review it for you to ensure there are no mistakes. 

Tips to improve writing skills

Here are some tips to improve your writing skills: 

Write frequently

One of the best ways to improve any skill is practice. If you want to improve your writing skills, write more and often. 

Make proofreading a habit

Whether you’re writing an email, report or article, it’s important to always proofread your work. It can be easy to miss errors or typos, so read through your work thoroughly to ensure it’s perfect before submitting it. 

Ask for feedback

In addition to proofreading your own writing, it can be beneficial to ask someone else to read it and provide you with feedback that may help you improve. 

Join a writing workshop

Writing workshops can be a great way of improving your writing skills. These workshops tend to focus on group writing activities.

Read more

Some of the best writers are also avid readers. Reading on a regular basis can help you develop and improve your vocabulary and language skills. 

Get formal training

You may want to consider enrolling in a writer’s training program. Writing professionals can offer effective tips and feedback to help you improve your writing skills. You may also learn different forms of writing that may be suited to your specific job interests.

Do an internship

If you are currently enrolled in college and want to prepare for a career in writing, doing an internship can help improve your writing skills and help you expand your experience as a writer. An internship may also provide you with on-the-job skills that you can include in your resume when applying to jobs after graduation.